Tag: Kurt Vile

New Video: Up-and-Coming Tuareg Band Imarhan Release Meditative Sounds and Visuals on Modern Taureg Life in “Azzaman”

Comprised of Iyad Moussa “Sadam” Ben Abderahmane, Tahar Khaldi, Hicham Bouhasse, Abdelkader Ourzig and Haiballah Akhamouk, the Tamanrasset, Algeria-based quintet Imarhan formed back in 2008 and while being among a newer generation of Tuareg musicians, who haven’t fought in the various conflicts that have devastated the region; however, since their formation, the band, which has been mentored by internationally renowned Tuareg act Tinariwen, has developed a reputation across the Tuareg world and elsewhere for pairing the ancestral tamashek poetry and traditional rhythms of their elders with contemporary sounds that reflect their urban upbringings, listening to a variety of music from around the globe. (Interestingly, the connection to Tinariwen is not just a generational one of acclaimed elders wanting to pass their wisdom on to the young, new breed; it’s actually familial, as Tinariwen’s Eyadou Ag Leche is Ben Abderahmane’s cousin.)
In fact, with the release of their 2016, critically applauded, self-titled debut album, the band quickly became a buzz-worthy act with a growing profile that found them opening for the likes of Kurt Vile, the aforementioned Tinariwen, Songhoy Blues and Mdou Moctor at venues across the US, the European Union and China. And building upon that growing profile, the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort Temek, derives its name from the Tamashek word for “connections” and the Patrick Votan and Eyadou Ag Leche-produced album, which was recorded earlier this year in Paris reportedly is a urgent wake up call to the listener, reminding them that we are all connected and that without unity, we will never be able to solve our world’s most pressing problems — i.e., environmental destruction, inequality, racism, growing strife and conflict, etc. As the band’s Ben Abderahmane says in press notes, “People should love each other. They need to know each other, we need to know each other, everyone should get to know their neighbor. We need to have the same approach as our elders,” he continues. “You will stumble across an old man who knows the world and will hand down his knowledge to his children.” But along with that message, the album finds the band pushing their sound to include elements of funk, disco and rock; in fact, the album’s first single “Azzaman” is a mediative and hypnotic yet subtly contemporary take on the region’s famed desert blues sound, as the song finds the band hinting at psych rock, thanks to some impressively blazing guitar work.
Directed by Visions Particulières and filmed in Algiers, Algeria, the recently released video for “Azzaman” offers an equally meditative glance at Tuareg life, pointing out that while some things are understandably different culturally and linguistically, we share much more similarities than we expect. After all, people struggling to get by daily with their dignity intact is universal; and in fact, if you were watching the video in mute, it wouldn’t be until you saw the street scenes that you’d notice anything wildly different. As the band explains, the video’s concept “is about the passing of time and the handing over of a heritage by each generation. It’s about the importance of leaving the right legacy. It’s also about connecting the cultures, the mixing of the old with the new. The video was shot in Algiers to reflect the meaning behind the song, it’s a big cosmopolitan city, an urban environment which culturally offers a lot yet it’s still a place in which we can keep on preserving some Tuareg ways of life.”

Perhaps best known as the drummer of West Grove, PA-based rock Dr. Dog, a member of the Adrian Belew (of King Crimson fame)’s backing band and a co-leader of the Philadelphia, PA-based band Lithuania, Eric Slick’s soon-to-be released solo debut Palisades finds Slick stepping out from behind the drum kit and being a full-time frontman of a backing band featuring Andy Molholt of Speedy Ortiz and Laser Background, Ricardo Lagomasino of Lithuania and Capillary Action and Alexandra Spalding of Avers.

As the story goes, in 2014 Slick decided to leave his native Philadelphia for the first time and relocated to Asheville, NC where he practiced meditation and Jungian dream therapy as a form of reinvention and to write his own original material, which would later be inspired by these periods of intense mediation. Interestingly, Slick found some inspiration in the works of renowned writer/actor Spalding Gray — especially his 1992 book Impossible Vacation, which details the impossibility of searching for and finding Zen. “I know it’s the funny trope: indie rock dude goes to the woods and makes an outsider record,” Slick says in press notes. “But it was a time of deep introspection and a fruitful period of my life. I wrote someone around 50 songs in 2014.” And as a result, the material on the album isn’t a typical indie rock, rock or pop album that focus on heartbreak or love; rather, it thematically focuses on mediation, death, self-help, dream therapy, tarot and mysticism. But at points, the material focuses on both personal events of his life and the random, unexpected thoughts that come up while mediating — in particular, the album title track “Palisades” is about New York’s Palisades Parkway; however, Slick doesn’t really know why or how it came about.

At the end of 2014, Slick returned to Philadelphia to record Palisades at Mt. Eerie’s Phil Elverun’s The Unknown Studio in Anacortes, WA — but the songs were stored away for a period time before Slick finished them with the assistance of Neighbors‘ Jose Diaz Rohena, who produced it, along with Ape School and Kurt Vile‘s Michael Johnson, Lithuania’s Dom Angelella and Ricardo Lagomarsino and Ryan Neitznick and Molly Burch‘s Dailey Toliver.

Palisades‘ latest single “You Became The Light” is a jangling and discordant track featuring enormous, buzzing power chords, thundering and propulsive drumming, a dreamy melody and an anthemic hook — and interestingly enough, the song sounds as though it draws from 90s grunge and alt rock while possessing a free-flowing improvised feel.
Slick plans to take his solo act on the road in 2017, and it includes a May 20, 2017 stop at Sunnyvale. Check out the tour dates below.


Tour Dates
Apr 19 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry*
Apr 20 – Raleigh, NC – Kings*
Apr 23 – Orlando, FL – The Social*
Apr 25 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl*
Apr 26 – Birmingham, AL – Syndicate Lounge*
Apr 27 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa*
Apr 28 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall*
Apr 30 – Austin, TX – Empire Control Room*
May 01 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues*
May 02 – Little Rock, AZ – Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack*
May 03 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt*
May 20 – Brooklyn, NY – Sunnyvale

* – w/ Sinkane


Perhaps best known as the haunting and ethereal voice of Mazzy Star, Hope Sandoval has had an equally lengthy solo career, collaborating with a number of artists including Massive Attack and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O’Coisog in her long-running post Mazzy Star project, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions. Interestingly, Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions is a major departure in terms of theme, instrumentation and mood. Whereas Mazzy Star’s sound was shimmering and moodily atmospheric and featured sparse arrangements of guitar and drums, The Warm Inventions’ sound at times is reminiscent of twangy 70s AM radio and soul as you’ll hear on “Let Me Get There,” the first single off the project’s forthcoming third, full-length effort Until the Hunter, slated for a November 4, 2016 release.

Featuring a guest spot from acclaimed and prolific singer/songwriter Kurt Vile, the song consists of the sort of tender, slow-burning, Sunday morning soulful and hypnotic groove that you can two-step to with a lover, paired with soaring and trembling organ keys and Sandoval and Vile’s call and response vocals evoking both the warm, comfortable and playful familiarity of a long-term couple as they’re about to make love or as they’re in the middle of making love — and that sense of curiosity and discovery those first few times you’ve begun to see a lover naked. Interestingly, the song also manages to suggest that when it’s right, a relationship should feel much like musicians who automatically have a sense of simpatico and can intuitively follow wherever the other leads.